A new tourism data initiative is set to help the industry in Scotland better showcase their destinations and recover from the Covid pandemic.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the university of Dundee will work with smart travel app Geotourist on creating a data dashboard for Scottish tourism businesses.

The project aims to identify and assess the platform’s economic and social benefits to Scottish tourism – and is issuing a call for destination management organisation to get involved.

With 20 spaces on offer, each will have a Geotourist multimedia trail created – to showcase their destination or brand – with access to a data dashboard to assess and analyse results.

The project runs until May 2023, with results released in a paper authored by Dr Keith Dinnie, an industry report co-authored by Dr Keith Dinnie and Geotourist CEO, Shaon Talukder, and an online event for Scottish tourism industry stakeholders.

Building on existing links between Geotourist and the Scottish tourism industry, the digital
storytelling tours will be hosted on the Geotourist platform and generate data bespoke to each of the 20 project partners.

Under the supervision of Dr Dinnie, interviews will be conducted with the partners to assess the potential for Geotourist to deliver economic and social benefits to organisations and their destinations.

As part of Scotland’s inward investment strategy, the Scottish Government has identified tourism as a key driver for future growth in economic development with data-driven approaches key to increased visitor numbers and revenues.

Any Scotland-based tourism organisation can apply to participate in the project. Potential partners include tourism boards or destination organisations, local authorities, attractions, transport organisations, venues, heritage organisations, parks and outdoor spaces, museums and galleries and community groups that provide visitor services.

This project is funded by the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund administered by Interface, an innovation and knowledge exchange specialist.

Dr Keith Dinnie, reader in marketing and associate dean business and community engagement,
University of Dundee School of Business, said: “I am delighted to be working together with Shaon and his team at Geotourist on this exciting and innovative project. As elsewhere, the tourism sector in Scotland has been particularly hard hit by the Covid pandemic. By harnessing the data analytics and insights of the Geotourist platform, this project seeks to help destinations all over Scotland recover and thrive in the post-pandemic world.”

Shaon Talukder, CEO of Geotourist said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Dr Keith Dinnie of the University of Dundee to help destination management organisations and other tourism stakeholders across Scotland understand how Geotourist-generated data can support their economic activities and drive visitor engagement.

“We’re hugely committed to the visitor economy in Scotland and are looking forward to bringing more destinations on board during this research project.”